Warm, rich, and inviting, this Gluten-Free Butternut Squash and Bacon Penne Pasta is everything a beginning of fall dinner should be!
Are you as conflicted as I am about the end of summer and the beginning of fall?
I’m always SO sad to see the summer and summer produce go (how will I live without fresh fruit for my Strawberry Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, Blueberry Peach Coffee Cake, and Blueberry Oatmeal Scones?) but I’m also over-eager for all the rich flavors that come with the fall. As in, making Butternut Squash Soup and baking with pumpkin mid-August, over-eager.
Plus fall brings big comfy sweaters, cool crisp mornings, and big bowls of chili and hearty pasta for dinner. And while I’m sad to put away my breezy summer dresses (can dressing get any easier?) I’m more than ready for all of the above.
Speaking of over-eager, if you come peek at my pantry right now chances are you will apply me for the show Hoarders once you see my butternut squash stash faster than I can say: “wait! Let me explain!”
Even if my explanation would simply be: FALL! (and a 99 cents per pound sale that I couldn’t pass up…. to the extreme.) I mean, can there ever really be too much butternut squash?
On second thought, don’t answer that.
Hoarders, here I come.
While I’m usually a pasta traditionalist (pasta+ragu or pasta+meatballs, please!) I’ve been branching out a surprising amount recently and you guys, it’s been such a good, good thing.
Pair that with the aforementioned compulsive over-purchasing of butternut squash – aka squash for every meal – and miracles might have just been made in my kitchen.
Ok, this wasn’t exactly 7 loaves to feed thousands, but this is a small fall miracle indeed. A few simple ingredients – penne pasta, butternut squash, bacon, walnuts, shallot, and spices – are all that are needed to make the best pasta dish that has ever touched my lips. With minimal clean-up to boot – only one pot required, and one baking sheet.
It’s everything fall food should be – little bit rich, a little bit hearty, and 100% curl-up-on-the-couch worthy.
I know, you thought I was going to say the bacon 😉 But hear me out.
This pasta is truly incredible. I’ve tried a lot of gluten-free pasta brands over the years, and this is easily one of my favorites to date. It has a fantastic taste and texture, and of all of the boxed pastas I’ve tried, it’s probably the closest to actual gluten-full boxed pasta. It has just the right amount of chew and zero grit. Did you hear that? ZERO GRIT → which is a feat when it comes to gluten-free pasta, if you didn’t know.
AND, if you saw my Insta-story last week, you’ll know that the thing that I was maybe most thrilled about was how well it reheated. Most gluten-free pastas turn to an icky, gritty mush and disintegrate when reheated, but the Pamela’s pasta retained it’s structure, flavor, and texture!!! There aren’t enough exclamation points in the world (!!!!!!!)
But I mean really, are we surprised that this pasta is incredible? I don’t know that I’ve ever met a Pamela’s Products item that I haven’t loved, but WOW. Just wow.
Other than the pasta perfection, there is another secret ingredient that really takes this Butternut Squash and Bacon Penne Pasta dish over the top.
A sprinkle of cinnamon. Yes, cinnamon in your pasta. Don’t question it, just go with it. It heightens and refines all of the other flavors of the dish, and really ups the fall factor.
While I preferred to eat this pasta warm, even reheated (!!!), it was equally amazing when we chowed down on it straight from the fridge the next day.
In my mind this dish couldn’t get any better, but I was thrilled to find that it’s versatile to boot – a great main dish for dinner one night, and a fantastic chilled side dish to go along with chicken the next. This would also be a killer addition to one of your fall potlucks!
Totally digging fall now. How about you?
- 1 box ofPamela’s Product’s Gluten-Free Penne Pasta
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, and cubed (about 3 cups)
- 3 Tablespoons finely minced shallot
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 5 strips bacon
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted preferred
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Fresh basil leaves
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, and line a large baking sheet with tin foil.
- Cut butternut squash into 1-inch cubes, and place on half of the baking sheet along with the shallots. Drizzle the olive oil over the squash and shallots and then evenly sprinkle salt and pepper all. Toss together to fully coat, and then spread everything in an even layer on one side of the pan. Bake the squash for 20 minutes.
- Remove the squash from the oven and stir/flip.. On the other side of the baking sheet, lay out the bacon strips and return to the oven for 15 minutes more.
- In the meantime, cook the penne pasta according to the directions on the box. Once the pasta is done, drain and then rinse quickly under warm water. Place the pasta in a deep serving bowl.
- Once the butternut squash is done roasting, transfer it immediately into the bowl with the pasta, tossing well. Once the bacon has cooled slightly and can be handled, crumble into the bowl and add the walnuts and cinnamon. Stir everything together gently, until ingredients are evenly dispersed.
- Garnish with fresh basil, to taste.
This recipe was developed in partnership with Pamela’s Products. All opinions are 100% my own!
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